Saturday, December 13, 2014

Toe woes: Icky photo alert!!!

Icky photo alert! At the bottom of this post is a photo of Bob's toe, which is badly blistered. If you don't want to see it, don't scroll down!

I read somewhere that if you want to know something about a person's health look at their feet. Poor Bob is having foot issues, probably related to the CTCL, the chemo, and the radiation.

  It started at the gym...
We went to the gym together Sunday, had an uneventful workout, and we came home. He pulled off his shoes and said, "Oh, My." He had a whole-toe blister on his fifth toe from the tip to the base of his foot -- it was, and is, huge, puffy, and angry-looking. He had felt slight discomfort on the treadmill, and got off sooner than normal. He can't have walked more than a mile. It has grown every day. The photo below was taken Monday. Now, Thursday it has covered much of the top of his foot.

What the heck?
The radiologist confirmed that the blister was indirectly the result of Total Skin Electron Beam Radiation (TSEB) treatments. It is not code red, despite its alarming appearance, but we have to watch for infection. Bob's temp is normal, and the pain is minor, so infection is likely absent at the moment.  He had had his last treatment on December 1, but there are after-effects. His white blood cell count is low, he can't feel his toes at times, and I guess his skin is ever-more delicate.

Wake up call
While we are informed about Bob's CTCL, on a day-to-day basis, I don't really think about this disease as a cancer -- I don't really acknowledge to myself that "Bob has lymphoma." His form of the disease has acted more like a skin condition for the last few years, and the treatments have not the kind that dramatically impact the quality of life or health.  Now that we have moved on to the more "heavy duty" treatments, like TSEB, both of us have to come to to the realization that this is not "cancer lite." This goofy blister is behaving like no other blister we've ever seen. You know how when you search a medical ailment on the Web and these awful over the top photos come up? You think oh that could never happen to me/us.  And now here we are. It has us both upset.

This is Monday -- by Thursday it had reached his big toe.


  1. Give Bob my good wishes again for better health. Hoping the new treatments do the job, but side effects? Good heavens. The saving grace is that apparently the doctor is not alarmed and he's seen this before.
    So frustrating to fight a disease like this. I will add a prayer for you both.

  2. That looks so painful, keeping you both in my thoughts.

  3. yikes. hope he heals up soon! i have relatives with neuropathy related to chemo treatments, and they frequently injure their feet without noticing... it's definitely problematic


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